Fremantle is the perfect mix of the past and present: Astor

A Perth local who was recently in Hamburg, picked up a catalogue from the people who run the Astor.  This is the ship that is based in Freo during our summer.  They give Freo a real big plug.

I won’t say this translation is perfect but it basically says:

Fremantle is the perfect mix of the past and present.  While walking through the perfectly-retained, historical streets from the 19th century, experience sea-faring, convict and colonial history.  Busy markets and relaxing street cafes show what life is like in WA in the 21st century.”

I couldn’t agree more 🙂

Makers and the Burgeoning New Freo Economy

On Sunday we took five days old Aoife on her first outing just down the street from our house in White Gum Valley to visit Stackwood’s “Made Local Market”.

Stackwood which is not surprisingly on the corner of Stack and Wood Streets is a great little space in the emerging arty Knutsford Precinct. It’s a space for creative entrepreneurs, emerging businesses and makers.

Last weekend they had an open market focused on local makers, and had stalls selling locally made gifts and wares such as ceramic planters, artist prints, textiles and jewellery

It was great and it reminded me of the emerging creative economy that Fremantle has built up over recent years of locally made, bespoke and unique goods.

It’s not just happening in Stackwood but at MANY 2.0 and MANY 000 new spaces in the old Spotlight and the Old Police complex, at Common Ground on High Street, at the Fib on Blinco Street etc etc.

Freo has become a hub for makers, for those who want authenticity and sense of passion that can’t be replicated.

There is growing demand for locally made and authentic products. High quality authentic businesses are performing exceptionally well and can get away with charging a premium versions of a product, simply for the buyer experience and quality on offer.

As high street guru Gilbert Rochecouste says:“It’s the whole slow food, slow cities, slow concepts; it’s all built around handmade, hand curated…” I’d add to Rochecouste’s approach words like bespoke/distinctive/local/layered/unique…you get the picture. The future of Freo is doing well at what the big box shopping malls will never be able to match.

Freo’s always about doing it a bit different and glad Aoife got to have this as her first outing  – although she did sleep through a lot of it!

West Article: South Quay project marks Fremantle’s bold plan to become a world-class gateway to Perth

Great article by Kent Acott in the West today showing how our South Quay project is a key porject for the state in coming years.

As I am quoted in the article “Unlocking the development potential of South Quay is a critical element in allowing Fremantle to increase its activity, vibrancy and viability.”


South Quay project marks Fremantle’s bold plan to become a world-class gateway to Perth

The metamorphosis of Fremantle Harbour — and, in particular, South Quay — would be a highly appropriate special project for WA’s bicentennial celebrations in 2029.

“We have a new airport and we have a new river gateway at Elizabeth Quay — now we need a redeveloped world-class ocean gateway,” Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said. “And South Quay was a key area of first European settlement.”

The plan involves commercial and tourism space, hotels and an international-standard cruise ship terminal that would change the face of the southern side of the harbour.

Dr Pettitt briefed Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti and Tourism Minister Paul Papalia about the plan last month.

An economic analysis of the conceptual plan by business management consultants Macro- Plan Dimasi has found the development could generate $946 million for the State government over 20 years in net land sale values, stamp duties, land tax, payroll tax and GST returns.

How South Quay might look from the air.
How South Quay might look from the air.

It also found the project could attract private investment of $3.5 billion and generate 3760 jobs.

In its report to the City of Fremantle, the consultants said South Quay involved 15.7ha of land — similar to Perth City Link — and could accommodate high-rise developments.

It said the land was currently used for low-use activities, primarily as a carpark for imported vehicles.

A more familiar look at South Quay.
A more familiar look at South Quay.Picture: Barry Baker, WA News

“The potential to locate large public buildings on site — such as an indigenous art gallery, entertainment arena and convention centre — in addition to the commercial development could make the precinct a significant tourism precinct,” the report said.

“Unlocking the development potential of South Quay is a critical element in allowing Fremantle to increase its acti-vity, vibrancy and viability.”

Dr Pettitt said the redevelopment would transform the Quay into a spectacular area and a terrific entry point for the thousands who arrive by cruise ship.

“At the moment its rows and rows of imported cars that enjoy the best waterfront views,” he said. “If we can shift this aspect of the port operations — and the live-sheep carriers — it would open up a significant area to development.”

The Quay would be one of a number of projects to be finished by 2029. The others include the redevelopment of Cantonment Hill into a quality public space and the development of the Fremantle Oval precinct.

An artist’s impression of Fremantle Oval’s proposed redevelopment.
An artist’s impression of Fremantle Oval’s proposed redevelopment.Picture: Supplied

A tiny, welcome distraction…

I’ve been quiet this week due to a tiny welcome distraction by the name of Aoife Elizabeth coming home with us. She’s lively and healthy and we love her.


Monday’s ABC Four Corners program was hardly flattering to recycling in Australia but Fremantle through our part in the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (member councils also include Cockburn, Melville, Kwinana and East Fremantle.) is leading the way in WA for diverting waste from landfill. Here is their official response:


In light of the allegations presented in a recent ABC Four Corners programme into waste management practices in NSW and QLD, the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) would like to reemphasize that recyclables collected in the yellow-topped bins processed by the SMRC are recovered to the fullest extent possible with 85% of recyclables recovered and made into new products.

This includes glass which is recovered, ground and used in road base, as well as plastics, paper, cardboard, steel and aluminum which command a high value when sold to domestic and international markets.

The organic fraction of the green-topped general waste bins processed by the SMRC is recovered and processed into compost which is used in agriculture.

The SMRC is a transparent, local government organisation, committed to working with its member councils and the community to ensure environmentally sustainable outcomes.

The SMRC plays an important role in working towards increased recycling rates and encourages the community to assist our efforts by ensuring they continue to put the right thing in the right bin.

Residents of member Councils and members of the public can attend free tours of the Regional Resource Recovery Centre (RRRC) in Canning Vale to see firsthand what happens to their waste and virtual tours are also available on the Recycle Right website

Now is time to ‘Donate without doubt’

This week (7 to 13 August) is Homelessness Week which seeks to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness and the issues these people face.

Homelessness continues to rise as an issue across Australia. For example, the number of people accessing specialist homelessness support for financial reasons has increased from 11.2% in 2006-7 to 20.1% in 2015-16 (AHIW, 2016). Fremantle like many centres sees this first hand and is working in partnership with services providers to address this complex and challenging problem.

A  great way for residents to help address homelessness was to support ‘Donate without doubt’. The ‘Donate without doubt’ campaign provides funds to St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, allowing the centre to provide vital services to those in need.

Spare change collection boxes placed throughout the CBD provide a convenient and effective way of donating and all donations are matched dollar for dollar by the City of Fremantle.

Since the launch of the ‘Donate without doubt’ initiative in February 2016, more than $12,000 has been donated to St Patrick’s. These donations help provide emergency relief, housing, meals, education and health services.

Fremantle community had a long standing history of giving.  ‘Donate without doubt’ is a joint collaboration between the City of Fremantle, WA Police and Community Newspaper Group.

Visit  for more information.



From the Freo Council Chambers – parking, verges and West End development